Development of a concept of transitional justice for Ukraine

13.12.2019

CivilM+

The international civil society platform CivilM+ recently offers recommendations for an effective policy for the reintegration of the population affected by the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Transitional Justice is part of it.

The recommendations are centered around eight relevant topics including one on Transitional Justice as chapter 3. This provides for:

III: Development of a concept of transitional justice

  1. Ensure consistent implementation of the judicial reform for the increase of the efficiency and transparency of the courts and improved trust of the society to the judicial system
  2. A mechanism for the compensation of destroyed housing and damaged property. Judicial practice shows that current legislation provides for such a mechanism, however it is impossible to use it in practice, since even existing court decisions in its favour have not been implemented.20
  3. Examination of approaches for granting a partial amnesty to certain categories of combatants and civilians on both sides, including those who took part in political rallies and anti-government demonstrations, who cooperate with the de facto authorities or have been (or continue to) act as an official or local government official; development of a clear and understandable policy towards these people, as well as a clear policy of Ukraine regarding those who have committed war crimes and gross violations of international humanitarian law.
  4. Ensuring social protection for victims of the war should be regulated by national legislation, because international humanitarian law allows for the protection of civilians in the zone of conflict or occupation, but does not contain norms for the regulating of social protection for civilian victims of the war in the phase of their transition to a peaceful life. In Ukraine, there is only one rule regulating the protection of citizens affected as a result of the armed conflict. On 24.02.2018, the Law of Ukraine “On the status of war veterans and guarantees of their social protection” was supplemented by a rule governing the granting of the status “individual with a disability as a result of war” (which is analogous to a “disabled veteran”) to individuals who were disabled as a result of injuries or other health problems received from explosive devices, munitions and military weapons in the ATO territory.
  5. The reconciliation process, which is both essential and unavoidable, involves the establishment of a broad-based public dialogue, the creation of memorial commissions, the discussion of history and the conflict – this is the only way that it is possible to guarantee that this tragic experience does not happen again.

The recommendations are based on the results of discussions at the 2nd International Forum “Reintegration in Donbas – improving the humanitarian situation and strengthening people to people contacts in the conflict region”, held in Kyiv on November 13-14, 2019, with the support of the German Foreign Ministry and the OSCE Slovak Chairmanship.

The views of the priority steps voiced during the Forum were discussed among a wide range of Ukrainian and international experts from the public, political, academic and civil society spheres, and later - inside the CivilM+ Platform - by civil society activists from Ukraine and other European countries with deep expert knowledge and many years of experience from the work in the region and on conflict topics.

All recommendations: https://civilmplus.org/en/publications/policy-paper-reintegration-of-the-population-affected-by-the-conflict-in-donbas-and-restoring-justice-and-peace-current-state-and-priorities/

https://civilmplus.org/

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CivilM+: As an open European civil society platform CivilM+ aimed at facilitating the integration of civil initiatives and restoring Donbas as a peaceful, integrated and developed region of a democratic Ukraine and united Europe

Issue: Politics

Dealing with the past is often subject to passionate political struggles - on the national, as well as on the international level. They can lead to rather supportive or suppressive, truly effective or ineffective frameworks, institutionalised by state-policies and laws. However, below the surface, political struggles are about the access to scare resources, institutions or, more generally, the distribution of power. What political initiatives exist that try to foster inclusive and coherent processes of dealing with the past? Why do they exist and what is their room for manoeuvre?